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Musings on Motherhood, Marriott and Fancy Cheese

Motherhood is hard. That’s an understatement of a century! The thing that gets me is that you never stop feeling guilty. Ever. Granted, I probably have a good reason to feel guilty. Giving kids too much junk food? Check. Too much TV? Oh yeah! Raising my voice (aka yelling)? Guilty. Arguing with my husband in front of the kids? Affirmative. I saw this meme on Facebook: “Marriage is a walk in a park… Jurassic Park.” Truth.

I didn’t expect just how hard it would be to raise a daughter. Sure, my son can be a handful. But his issues mostly have to do with the fact that he is a rascal. He constantly gets into trouble, but he is a happy, good-natured kid. My daughter, on the other hand, can be an emotional mess…at 8 years of age. Seriously, is this normal or should I shoot myself before teenage years arrive?

Something she’s said to me lately is that I don’t really listen to her, but instead do household stuff or look at my iPad. And sadly, there is some truth to that. Like most moms, I’m distracted by various everyday tasks, not to mention, building my blogging empire (loosely used term). The other day she said that she wishes there was someone who would listen to her stories. And she has so many stories to tell! That was a kick in the pants.

One of my older friends who has grown children told me something few days ago. She said her big regret is not paying attention to her kids’ (sometimes annoying) questions when they were little and instead, simply answering “I don’t know” each and every time. Children are not dumb and can sense when they are being ignored. She told me to answer the darn question, even if it has been asked a hundred times before.

I decided it’s time to start doing things differently. Last weekend we went on a short mother/daughter getaway to a nearby Residence Inn  Sebring and I left my iPad at home. On the way there my daughter spotted a pet store and asked me to go inside so she could look at the animals. I hate going to that place because invariably, she starts begging me to get her a pet after we leave. But this was her trip, so I went. And of course, the begging and tears began as soon as we got back in the car.

I told her we will get a pet when she turns 10. There are several reasons why I keep putting it off. One of them surfaced recently. I overheard my son making this statement: “If you hold a cat underwater, he will transform into a dog.” He wasn’t kidding. Yep,definitely need to wait a few years.

Can you get a better deal for 10,000 Marriott points?

I doubt it. The suite at this particular Marriott Residence Inn is a steal, considering  the fact that it runs at only 10,000 points per night and includes full hot breakfast. Paid rate is $145, so it’s an excellent redemption, which is why we’ve stayed here a few times. Keep in mind that the occupancy limit is 3. See this page for more information on Chase Marriott Premier Visa. You might also want to read my post How regular families can benefit from Marriott/SPG merger.

I wanted to take a few photos of the room, but my daughter insisted on posing for the camera. Sure, why not. I did NOT tell her to “perform” for the blog:

Statue of Liberty

The Thinker

Lincoln Memorial

Hmm, no specific meaning, just us gals walking around the lake

We swam in the heated pool, which was relaxing, and enjoyed the hot tub. Afterwards,  I told her we could watch anything she wanted on TV and she picked “America’s Funniest Videos” show. Yipee! Cue two glorious hours of stupid pet tricks and folks getting kicked in the crotch. But once again, this wasn’t about me. The next morning she got in my bed and we just talked without any distractions. That was nice.

The breakfast at Residence Inn is usually really good, and this one was no exception. Fresh waffles, eggs, fruit, everything was top notch. They even had fancy cheese! Not the cheap kind you get at Walmart, but the one with a crust. What a nice treat. I consider Residence Inn  to be a poor man’s Hyatt. By that logic, Holiday Inn Express is a poor man’s Residence Inn.

I was very concerned that my son would be  upset when we got home, but he was perfectly fine. He told me they had a great “boys” day. My husband took him to Dunkin Donuts and gave him two new toys. My son is a simple dude. He did ask me what kind of hotel we stayed at and whether it was a Hyatt (his favorite). I told him it was not a Hyatt, and that there was no waterpark on premises. That’s all he needed to know.

One getaway can’t fix everything

We had a really nice time, but it’s clear to me that more  is required. I simply can’t use miles and points to make up for everyday failings. I wish there was a magical fix, but it doesn’t exist. When it comes to parenting, it’s about journey more than it is about destination. And sometimes I feel like the least qualified “driver” in the world. Come to think of it, I am a bad driver, in literal sense. Nope, not because I’m a woman!

More than anything else,  I want my kids to grow up and have good memories of their childhood. Sure, our family is quite dysfunctional, but both my husband and I keep trying. And that’s all we parents can do, right?





Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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15 thoughts on “Musings on Motherhood, Marriott and Fancy Cheese

  1. I feel like parents (particularly mothers) in the US are under more pressure to be perfect than parents in any other country in the world, while simultaneously having less societal support in raising their children than anywhere else. Obviously, that’s a very subjective opinion. But I think this contributes a lot to the feelings of guilt and strain you and many other US parents suffer from.

    I read somewhere that it helps immensely to try NOT to be what you would think of as a “perfect” mother, or even a “good” mother, but instead, “good enough”. That sounds like a cop-out to our competitive, achievement oriented culture, but it is a more realistic and healthy mindset for parents, from which children also benefit greatly. After all, if you’re constantly feeling guilty as a parent, your job is only made that much more difficult. And all parents make mistakes–so many mistakes! Try not to feel so bad about them. You’re clearly a very thoughtful and dedicated person as well as a mom, someone I’d like to know you in person. And don’t worry, I don’t mean that in a stalker sense! I’m not even a mom yet, though I’d like to be soon; and I’ll probably end up being a quirky points-, trip- and value-obsessed one, sorta like you. 😀

    • @Debra Thank you for your thoughtful comment! I got a kick out of some of your observations. Honestly, I would be happy to settle for “good enough”! That would be great. Being a parent means you are constantly pulled in several directions. Quite exhausting. You’ll see one day. I bet you’ll email me and say ” Now I know what you were talking about in that post back in the day!” 🙂

  2. Don’t be so hard on yourself. This parenting thing isn’t easy. I agree with you, though. There is a lot of guilt! It’s hard to be everything to everyone sometimes. You seem like you’re doing a great job! =)

    • @Holly Thanks! There is a ton of guilt, for sure. I’m always amazed when I see moms battling it out online. It’s usually working moms vs. stay-at-home-moms. I kind of dabble in both worlds, since this blog is a small business. But being a mom is tough no matter which route you choose and some moms don’t even have a choice. I’m the last person to pass judgement on others and their parenting decisions.

  3. If it’s any consolation, you are probably a much better parent than you think, and most thing’s in a child’s personality are not parent-driven. For a fascinating read pick that one from your local library:


      • @Uri @ Nick I’m certain there is some truth to that theory. Kids are born with certain personality traits. Unfortunately, my daughter has inherited my mood swings and OCD tendencies! It’s like dealing with a mini-me and I am totally ill-equipped. Now I know what my mom had to go through, which gives me new respect for her. I do believe that more than anything else, kids need love and attention. Those two things can cover a multitude of failures.

  4. I can relate to this post so much! My son and daughter are challenging in, what sounds like, the same ways yours are. I often feel inadequately prepared for the challenges they present and at times, feel guilty for what I did or didn’t do. I have no sage advice but perhaps it helps for you to know that you aren’t the only one out there feeling this way… 🙂

    • @Julie Thanks for commenting! I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles in this area. In the past, my husband and I talked about having a third child, but this option is out of the question now. For one, I’m getting old! Plus, I feel like I’m not giving enough attention to my two existing kids. What would happen if we added a third in the mix? I’m always amazed at parents like my contributor Nancy who seem to be able to juggle it all. I’m just not a very “motherly” person, I guess.

    • @Nancy You look like a good mom to me! Those kids are always smiling, so you must be doing something right. That or you threaten to cancel their vacations if they don’t look happy on photos! 🙂

  5. not a day goes by that i don’t feel guilty about something! i think some of us are just born that way…..and yes, girls are much more difficult than boys. imho. you’re an amazing mom. i think about that every time i read about you and your kids. doing our best is the only option we’ve got – we just can’t do better than our best! so keep on keeping on. you’re a very cool girl. it comes thru in your writing. your kids are lucky.

    • @Jerri Trust me, I’m not an amazing mom or a cool girl/gal! 🙂 But thanks, your comment made me smile. But it’s totally true, girls are harder than boys. Sure, boys are more destructive and all, but my son just doesn’t seem to have the emotional ups and downs my daughter does. He is perfectly content playing alone in his room and doesn’t burst into tears if I’m distracted by something. Sigh, it’s hard to balance it all when you are a parent.

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